Whether you are buying or selling a home, unit or rural property, subdividing, or transferring to or between family members or via a trust, we make sure that your settlement process is transparent, stress free and cost-effective. Our conveyancing services are at a fixed cost, there are no surprises.  Below is an outline of the various Conveyancing Services North Law offers.

BUYING

Do you know…..that the basic principle when buying a house is “caveat emptor” or buyer beware. The pre-contractual enquiry is a critical stage for the buyer. Always do your due diligence on the land and building that you are purchasing as well as your own finances. A general standard contract allows for a pest and building report and finance approval as standard conditions of the contract. You might want to request other reports, or other terms as conditions in the contract, these are called “Special Conditions.” We always advice our clients to put due diligence clause in the special condition. Our fee includes advice on the contract and drafting the special conditions that you need. Make sure you consult with us before you sign on the dotted line.

When the contract is binding

Once the contract is signed by both parties and exchanged, the contract is binding and the clock is ticking. Time is of the essence in real estate contracts, meaning that there are consequences when a party cannot fulfill his/her contractual obligations by the due date. Diarise your calendar for some important dates. In general:

  • Make sure you pay your deposit on the time specified in the contract. If you fail to pay the deposit on time, the seller may have the right to cancel the contract.
  • The cooling off period is 5 business days, this commences / counts from the day the buyer or buyer’s solicitor receives the fully signed contract. If you terminate the contract during the cooling off period, the seller may charge a penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price and deduct it from your deposit.
  • The property is at the buyer’s risk from 5pm on the first business day after the contract date. Always have insurance for the property you are buying.
  • If you are buying a unit, you have 14 days from the contract date to check the accuracy of the owner’s statement and the disclosure statement.

If you buy a property through an auction and you are the successful bidder, you must settle the contract on the day of the auction. There is no cooling off period in an auction contract and in general, the seller would require you to settle on an unconditional basis. You should talk to the seller’s agent about the terms and conditions of the contract before you attend and before you bid on an auction and it is strongly advised that you conduct all your due diligence prior to auction day.

Can I get out of the contract?

Strictly only if the seller breaches his/her contractual obligations which warrants termination under the contract (for example, if the seller breaches the seller’s warranties or if there is a significant mistake found in the survey of the land) and only if that particular condition is part of the special condition of the contract and it is not met. This is the exact reason why it is critical to do your due diligence and imposing the appropriate special conditions.

Can I ask for extension of time?

Yes you can, but it must be within a reasonable timeframe and the other party must agree to it for your request to take effect. Under the standard contract, a party can unilaterally request up to 5 business days to extend the settlement date. When all the conditions have been met, the contract is unconditional. Always do your final inspection before settlement. We will make sure all the parties involved are ready and take care of the settlement process for you.

Any other questions? View our indicative fees and contact us.

SELLING

Giving proper disclosures about the land and building that you are selling is a must. If it can be established that a disclosure should have been given about a particular condition of the land and building and it has not been disclosed, the buyer may have the right to terminate the contract. For example:

  • A house that was built by the owner (owner builder) and the land is offered for sale within 6 years after completion of the building work, you must give notice to the buyer containing details of the building work as specified in the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991.
  • Any notices from government bodies that you have received prior to signing of the sale agreement. If that notice requires you to do certain works, you are obliged to complete the required works on the due date.
  • Covenants attached to the land and building. For example, some estates with a sea view require that the roof must be at certain heights or no front fence is allowed.
  • Unregistered dealings affecting the land and building. For example, you have entered a private loan agreement with the land as security and this agreement is not registered in the title.
  • If you are selling a unit, owner’s disclosure statement which contains information about the body corporate.

If the property is tenanted, you must also be aware of your obligations to any existing tenants, useful information can be found here https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/during-a-tenancy/events-that-impact-the-agreement/when-a-property-is-for-sale  

Ensure that you have installed a compliant fire alarm and safety switch, pool safety certificate and if the property is still under mortgage, ensure your bank has received the release of mortgage forms.

We will explain your rights and obligations as a seller to you, drafting the special conditions as per your needs and reviewing the special conditions that the buyer requested.